WatchOS 5 fitness and health features put Fitbit on notice

Apple introduces watchOS 5		
	Romain Dillet

   	7 hours

That's not because of design - the watch's looks haven't changed much since its debut. The next generation of watchOS is bringing even more fitness-tracking features to the wrist.

Apple is announcing watchOS 5, a major update to its smartwatch platform.

For Activity Sharing competitions, users will be able to invite another Apple Watch wearer to compete in a seven-day activity competition with watchOS 5.

watchOS 5 will be available this fall.

Additionally, Apple has released new colors of the Beats Powerbeats3, as well as the Beats Solo3. Watch will also detect when you've ended your workout and suggest you stop it if you've forgotten. The same applies to ending exercise-tracking. This feature also offers a reminder to end workout sessions after a period of inactivity if the user forgets.

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The yoga workout feature primarily tracks the user's heart rate, but the hiking workout is more robust, including metrics for things like elevations and pace.

watchOS 5 packs in a new way to chat with friends. After accepting the request, you'll be able to send a quick voice message. The feature uses Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity to enable voice communication with any Apple Watch user available around the globe.

"We're thrilled with the positive impact Apple Watch is having on people's lives", said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. The move has, of course, been on the cards, though, with the more recent Apple Watches all carrying more beefy internals which is clearly something watchOS 5 requires in order to make its new features possible. Apple announced an improved WorkOut API for greater performance of native apps and the ability for third-party apps to play background audio. It only works at a few campuses but you'll be able to pay for meals, unlock rooms and more.

The University of Alabama was selected along with Duke, Temple University, Johns Hopkins University, The University of Oklahoma and Santa Clara University. For starters, you can now raise your wrist and instantly talk to the assistant, skipping the "Hey Siri" trigger. Apple first started talking about a walkie-talkie feature back in 2014, before the Apple Watch launched the following year.

The Siri watch face introduced past year is gaining live sports scores, commute time, and heart rate tracking.

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